Porsche 996 Carrera 4S: the performance underdog

Since its inception in 1963, the Porsche 911 has garnered a deserved reputation: a popular yet exclusive sports car, while many desire a new 911 for their garage, few can actually afford one.

However, 52 years of production – not to mention the fact that more than 70 per cent of 911s to leave Werk II are still on the road – ensures that vast models of this decorated icon are at the centre of an equally enviable used market.

That opens up the doors to a few more parties who covet their own piece of motoring legend, and the depth and breadth of the 911’s heritage means there’s much available.

Porsche 996 C4S

From high-end exotica down to entry-level sports car territory, this in principle adds weight to the school of thought that to a certain degree, there is a 911 available for everyone. However, there’s a very real argument that this is no longer the case.

The mass inflation in prices of classics has, by and large, pushed the Porsche 911 just out of reach for those wanting their very own staple of Zuffenhausen flat six for relatively elementary money.

Despite this, there’s one generation from the 911’s heredity that’s still within the grasp of the entry-level buyer in the form of the 996. Save for both iterations of 996 GT3, the first variants of water-cooled 911 have enjoyed an immunity from the unprecedented hike in values. As such, a good example can be had for less than £20,000.

Porsche 996 Carrera 4S rear

While that presents an ‘in’ opportunity for many to source a well looked-after 911 with a reasonable amount of miles on the clock, the choices available are negligible.

Buyers will largely be limited to the pick of the 996 Carrera line-up – 996 Turbo prices start a little further on at around £25,000 – but before you turn your back on the classifieds, remember there’s an altogether more special iteration in the form of the 996 Carrera 4S.

To find out if the 996 Carrera 4S really is a £20,000 Porsche 911 bargain, read Lee’s test drive in full in issue 124, available in store now. Alternatively, order your copy online, or download it straight to your digital device.

Porsche 996 Carrera 4S driving

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